It's time to stick up for journalism.
If I were Barack Obama, I wouldn’t be doing many public events.
And if I were Michelle, I’d be demanding that he stay home.
Because the crazies are out in force.
When the rightwing nuts start carrying signs with Obama as Hitler and the Antichrist, when they start bringing loaded guns to his events, when they start saying things like “Euthanize Obama,” the climate is getting just too ugly.
“Since Mr. Obama took office, the rate of threats against the President has increased 400 per cent from the 3,000 a year or so under President George W. Bush, according to Ronald Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service,” reports the Telegraph of London.
Obama is facing more than 30 death threats a day, the paper said. And the Secret Service doesn’t have the resources to handle them all.
“We have half the agents we need,” one Secret Service member told Kessler.
Fueling the threats is a resurgent rightwing movement.
The Southern Poverty Law Center just released a study that says the militia movement is growing rapidly.
“All it lacks is a spark,” one ATF agent told the center, adding: “It’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence."
The militia movement today is not exactly the same as the one that created Timothy McVeigh, however.
“A key difference this time,” says the Southern Poverty Law Center, “is that the federal government — the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man.” This has “helped to racialize the Patriot movement.”
With Fox News and other rightwing outlets ginning up the Obamaphobia, it is too dangerous for the President of the United States to go out in public in our own country right now.
That is a sad commentary on our democracy.